Without the right equipment, you’re not going to last too long in the backyard of Grounded. Gnats might not be too much trouble, but run at some ants or lawn mites with your bare fists, and you’re going to be losing more health than you really need to. You’re free to mix and match armor to gain individual bonuses, but equip all the three pieces of a given set, and you’ll benefit from a unique set bonus.
Despite its early access state, Obsidian’s new survival game actually has quite a few armor sets already, giving you plenty of ways to craft a build that complements your playstyle. This unofficial Grounded armor tier list won’t match everyone’s expectations, but we’ve tried to consider offensive, defensive, and supportive traits, stats, and set bonuses to piece it together.
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Grounded armor tier list — S tier
- Piece bonus: Hyperstamina
- Set bonus: Hunter’s Prowess
The spider set earns its place as the only S-tier set for two reasons — its moderate defense and by offering the full Hyperstamina bonus to speed up stamina regen as you fight. Once you nail perfect blocks, the only thing stopping you from completely destroying any creature with a good weapon is stamina management. Swing too much, and you’ll be unable to block, potentially ending your run.
The Spider Armor, which comes from the ultimate perfect block tester the Orb Weaver, almost acts as a reward for mastering the art needed to take the beasts down. What you get is not only decent defense but a set bonus that should make blocking and attacking easier.
Materials needed: 12x Spider Chunk, 8x Spider Silk, 7x Berry Leather, 2x Spider Fang
Grounded armor tier list — A tier
- Piece bonus: Max Health
- Set bonus: Uncrackable
Easy to obtain and rock-solid to boot, Acorn Armor is a great set you can build quickly, easily, and very early on in the game. Its impressive defenses and Max Health bonus should allow for a large margin of error if you’re not quite a perfect blocking pro, too. It’s the go-to set for newcomers, for sure.
As you’d expect, acorns are mostly found around the big oak tree. Duck and weave between its roots, and you should find more than enough to make a few reserve sets as backups or for your adventuring buddies.
Once you have the full set, Uncrackable is applied. While unconfirmed, many assume it simply decreases the amount of stamina lost when blocking an attack. That could be the difference between a stun-inflicting strike.
Materials needed: 6x Acorn Shell, 11x Woven Fiber, 6x Clover Leaf, 5x Mite Fuzz, 4x Sap
- Piece bonus: Max Stamina
- Set bonus: Plump & Juicy
Grubs are the types of creatures to utterly disappear whenever you actually need them. It can take some time to scout out enough of the things to craft this set — or it can take a mere minute or two. Either way, what you’re left with at the end is a set that’s hyper-tuned to aggressive playstyles due to its Max Stamina bonus. As for the Plump & Juicy set bonus, nobody really knows what it does.
With so much of Grounded’s combat relying on blocking, attacking, and strafing, having extra stamina to work with can (and will) make a huge difference. On average, it should allow you to pull off six swings of the powerful Ant Club rather than around four — that means you can make good use of a sudden stun or swing more aggressively while still having the energy left over to block or strafe around a target. That’s good news when you’re up against bigger critters like Orb Weavers, Stinkbugs, and Ladybugs.
It’s not going to protect you from too many heavy hits, but it’s not meant to. It’s there to let you pull off devastating stun and block combos.
Materials needed: 12x Grub Hide, 8x Dry Grass Chunk, 2x Grub Goop, 2x Mite Fuzz, 1x Raw Weevil Meat
The Gas Mask makes farming Stinkbugs a much simpler affair. Rather than kite them out of their gas and hope it doesn’t seep into your lungs, the Gas Mask negates it entirely. Given that the Stinkbug locks itself into a long animation to get the gas out at the start of the fight, being able to ignore it means loads of free hits.
You’ll need a single Stinkbug Part as part of the craft, but get lucky, and you might just see a Spider take one down for you. It’s just a shame they offer next to no defense.
If you’re a pro at avoiding their stink and know your way around a dodge, you can forego this particular piece for a more attack-oriented piece of equipment, like the Eyepatch+. If you still like a bit of defense while fighting the bigger creatures, the Mite Hat down below might be a better bet.
Materials needed: 1x Weevil Nose, 4x Gnat Fuzz, 2x Woven Fiber, 1x Stinkbug Part
Made from simple materials, this upgrade over the regular eyepatch is a no-brainer. It offers virtually no defense, but its Attack and Attack Stamina buffs will make you hit harder for longer. It’s not worth sacrificing something like the bonuses of the Spider set over, but it’s a quick and easy craft that can fill in for a piece while you work to gather the rest of the materials you need to finish off the set.
Materials needed: 1x Woven Fiber, 2x Fiber Bandage, 1x Sap
Grounded armor tier list — B tier
- Piece bonus: Blocking Strength
- Set bonus: Scarlet Embrace
The ladybug set is the perfect upgrade for the Acorn set — it’s a hyper-defensive option for players who can’t rely on their ability to block. Ladybug armor sits below the Acorn set purely because of how hard it is to obtain by the players who typically need it.
Ladybugs hit hard, and without perfect blocks, a fight against them can really eat into restoratives, making them expensive, dangerous critters to farm for only a marginal upgrade. Once crafted, though, the Ladybug set offers more defense than the Acorn armor and a very helpful Blocking Strength buff to make cautious players more comfortable by increasing the number of hits they can block before getting stunned.
The Scarlet Embrace set bonus allows you to regenerate HP over time, which could pay for the restoratives used to farm it over time.
Materials needed: 11x Ladybug Part, 11x Berry Leather, 6x Flower Petal, 1x Ladybug Head
Rotten Bee set
- Piece bonus: Sprint Distance
- Set bonus: None (Fuzzy Cushion with non-Rotten set)
Though it’s already known as some kind of a legend in Grounded, the Rotten Bee armor just isn’t really up to snuff due, in part, to the peculiar way in which you obtain it.
Grounded’s Rotten Bee armor can’t be crafted — it can only be found. It’s always in the same place, though: Inside the anthill, far to the west of the mysterious machine. Each piece of the set is littered throughout the underground tunnel, so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled to pick each piece up from the ground. The Ant armor set bonus works wonders here.
Don’t expect some god-tier defenses when you do piece it together, though. The Rotten Bee armor is a little less sturdy than the Acorn set when it comes to raw defenses. And because it’s a damaged version of a set we can’t craft yet, its set bonus doesn’t kick in. Bummer.
What you do get is the Sprint Distance buff for each piece equipped, which simply reduces stamina depletion when you — you guessed it — sprint.
Materials needed: Cannot craft
Piece Bonus: The Quickness
Unlocked by analyzing Raw Aphid Meat, the Aphid Slippers are nothing more than hollowed-out carcasses. Gross, sure, but supremely slippery according to their tooltip. This makes the Wizard of Oz-style footwear great for getting around the backyard fast.
Like the Gas Mask or Eyepatch+, Aphid Slippers offer next to no defense compared to proper armor in the same slot. Paired with a gathering set like the C-tier stuff below, though, foragers will be able to zip around and pick up materials like there’s no tomorrow. Just weigh which set bonus you’re willing to give up for the speed.
Materials needed: 2x Raw Aphid Meat, 10x Mite Fuzz
Grounded armor tier list — C tier
- Piece bonus: Hauling Strength
- Set bonus: HumAnt
Even though docile until provoked, Worker Ants can nip hard enough to make grabbing the Ant armor a bit of a pain — not to mention how often they’ll come in pairs (or worse). It offers solid enough defenses that are on par with the Grub set. But its ability — Hauling — does nothing to help in battle.
Hauling Strength simply allows you to carry up to 10 Grass Planks or Weed Stems, up from the default of five, making it best suited as a set you switch into to speed up base building. It’s best left in a nearby chest for Acorn/Ladybug-dependant players to wear so they can quickly build structures while more confident players go on the hunt.
With a full set, however, the HumAnt bonus kicks in, turning even Soldier Ants into passive creatures, making exploration of anthills — like the one containing the Rotten Bee armor — threat-free. That’s an extra set of clothes for your buddies.
Materials needed: 14x Ant Part, 11x Mite Fuzz, 2x Woven Fiber, 2x Acid Gland, 1x Ant Head
- Piece bonus: Fuller
- Set bonus: Moist
The Clover set provides less protection than the Ant collection, barely managing to slip into Tier D with the Fuller piece bonus. Fuller will keep you from getting hungry as frequently as usual, and also includes a Moist bonus that keeps you from getting thirsty so you can play without those interruptions.
It also keeps potential Lawn Mites from destroying you during a period of starvation, so it’s an ideal collection to wear as you’re cutting grass or tracking down Pebblets and other staple items. This doesn’t offer you protection from bigger creatures within the game, so you still have to be on the lookout for those sneak attacks.
Materials needed: 13x Clover Leaf, 6x Woven Fiber, 2x Sprig
- Piece bonus: Max Stamina
The Mite Hat doesn’t offer many benefits on its own, but you need it as a basic item to take advantage of other bonuses in the game. If it were much easier to track down Grub Hides, it might be a different story, but since you need them plus five sections of Mite Fuzz (a second critter challenging to hunt down), it’s hard to suggest using the Mite Hat over the more easily-obtained Grub Goggles. It at least helps that Hyperstamina and Max Stamina are nearly equal on a sole piece.
Materials needed: 5x Grub Hide, 5x Mite Fuzz
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